Lampedusa shipwreck: Alfano calls for Mare Nostrum's end

Frontex plus should start soon. Risks of terrorist infiltration

03 October, 15:25

    Alfano, vu' cumpr��? Non �� razzismo, c'�� tanta ipocrisia [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20140814 ] Alfano, vu' cumpr��? Non �� razzismo, c'�� tanta ipocrisia [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20140814 ]

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS - Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano called for the Mare Nostrum surveillance-and-rescue operation to shut down in favor of ''European action able to show that Europe takes charge of its own border'', during a visit to Tunis on Friday, the first anniversary of the Lampedusa shipwreck in which 366 immigrants died.

    ''We will reach the objective of bringing Europe to patrol the Mediterranean border'', Alfano said. ''We will do it by November and my idea is that Frontex plus should start as soon as possible, already at the beginning of November''. ''Right afterwards, Mare Nostrum should be closed'', he continued, not because it wasn't effective in saving lives but because it ''had a timeframe and Italy could not and should not take charge of the Mediterranean border on its own''. ''That is a European border'', the minister stressed.

    Today, he added, ''we are discussing the consequences of the Italian response to that tragedy, the Mare Nostrum operation that saved over 90,000 human lives''.

    This major Italian effort ''did not prevent some 500 people from dying and, according to survivors, 1,400 others from being reported missing'', the minister went on to say.

    ''Over the past 12 months we have arrested over 500 migrant smugglers and I have to say that these police operations have been the most concrete response to human traffickers''. The minister then said ''We will continue to fight human trafficking rings and we will obtain, during this semester of EU presidency, the final presence of Europe in the Mediterranean''.

    ''Today Italy remembers a dramatic day, a day in which on Italian coasts, on the coast of a splendid Mediterranean island like Lampedusa 366 migrants died'', Alfano concluded. ''We commemorate this with the emotion and pain we owe to the women, children and men who lost their lives on such a tragic day''. (ANSAmed)

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